Touring Kayaks, Sea Kayaks, Ocean Kayaks

Touring kayaks, ocean kayaks, and sea kayaks are going to be longer, more narrow kayaks than a recreational kayak. They are designed to travel faster and track straighter. Compare touring models, technical specifications, kayak materials, and read touring kayak reviews here! For more advice, read the full touring kayaks guide below.

What is a Sea Kayak?

A sea kayak is typically a sit inside, or closed-deck model, kayak over 14 feet in length with built-in flotation fore and aft. They sometimes come with a rudder or skeg to aid in tracking. Also referred to as touring kayaks and ocean kayaks, these boats are made for paddling open water and can also be used easily in class I river conditions. This style of kayak has a wide array of uses ranging from gentle rivers and lakes on up to multi-week ocean expeditions. When taking kayak lessons, you will most likely be taught in this type of boat because the skills you learn easily transfer to other types of kayaks.

What To Look For In A Touring Kayak

There are several characteristics that most touring kayaks will have in common:

  • Kayak length will be over 14ft and would be characterized as longer, skinnier boats
  • Touring kayaks are built for speed and tracking, which means they will not have the primary stability that a wider, rec boat will have
  • Touring kayaks typically have hatches for storage to keep your gear dry
  • Hatches means there are usually bulkheads, which are dividers that split the kayak up into different compartments in case your cockpit gets filled with water

Sea Kayaking & Ocean Kayaking

If you are ever planning on sea kayaking, ocean kayaking, or expedition kayaking, you'll need a touring kayak. Since you'll be more vulnerable to the elements, you need to be sure you're in a boat that can handle the wind and the waves. The narrow cockpit allows for the use of a sprayskirt to keep you dry and will enable you to edge your kayak when needed.

If you are ever planning to go expedition kayaking, you need to be sure you are prepared for safety and dressed for immersion!